If there is one renewable energy technology that is constantly improving, it is wind turbines, which are in the midst of a revolution in terms of efficiency when it comes to producing electricity. The big companies, with many engineers, are working on it day by day, and now they have a competitor: Horst Bendix, from Leipzig. Horst Bendix, who will be 93 years old this year, has developed an improved model that is up to three times more efficient than today's wind turbines.
Horst Bendix worked as head of research and development at the Leipzig-based heavy machinery manufacturer Kirow until his retirement in 1995. There he was the heavy machinery man, designing cranes and lignite excavators.
Installing turbines that achieve higher outputs than today's and thus require less space could be a breakthrough for the problems currently presented by wind power in many cases.
A high-altitude turbine
Its design is unique in that it operates at altitudes of more than 200 meters. The benefit is higher energy yield. Winds at high altitude are stronger and more constant, which can make the "wind harvest" more productive.
Design by a German engineer and relative size MDR
The new prototype of the so-called high-altitude wind turbine differs from the design of conventional wind turbines: The usual one-piece tower of today's turbines is replaced in the Bendix wind turbine by a three-legged construction consisting of a vertical column and two support columns. In addition, there is no longer a single generator at the top of the nacelle, but several generators operating at the bottom of the turbine.
As reported by the Ecoinventos portal, this is a system that completely turns the classic structure upside down: the conventional wind turbine currently consists of a tower in which there is a rotating nacelle with the rotor hub on which the rotor blades sit. The power generator is installed in the nacelle and the whole system sits on a solid foundation. However, these systems have to face a serious problem: bending forces.
The wind acts on the rotor with considerable force, many tons. As a result, the tower bends and has to withstand this bending and requires a large moment of resistance on the ground.
The higher the tower the stronger the bending forces. This increases the risk of instability and damage to the material structure.
Overcoming bending forces
Horst Bendix therefore replaces the tower in its system with a tripod construction consisting of a vertical column and two support columns.
And there is another innovation: the generator is no longer located in the nacelle, but several are placed below, at the foot of the system. The wind energy is directed from top to bottom to these generators through a system of belts.
There is already interest in building an MDR prototype.
The advantage of the construction is obvious: the problem of bending forces has been solved. Because the generators are located at the bottom, the weight of the tower head is eliminated. This means it can easily reach higher regions where there is much more wind. And that in turn means much higher performance. In addition, the entire tower automatically rotates with the wind direction.
The energy obtained can be tripled
Experts also believe that the new wind turbine has a good chance of success. Wind energy expert Frank Zeulner, who has already planned and built several wind farms around the world, says: "With such a large system with such a large hub height, you can harvest more than 20 to 30 gigawatt hours per year. With a conventional one, for example, 10. The yield could be double to triple."
"By reducing the load on the tower head because of the absence of a heavy generator, the turbine is also much more stable, since the high bending forces of conventional turbines are eliminated. Of course, this ensures that I can easily reach the higher regions, where there is much more wind. And that, in turn, means much higher performance," Zeulner adds.
Turbines enable higher efficiency than conventional MDRs
Horst Bendix's high-altitude wind turbine is already patented. However, a working prototype does not yet exist, although initial discussions have been held with companies interested in building a test turbine.
Reference articles: https://www.mdr.de/wissen/energie-windrad-zukunft-100.html
More information on the system: https://www.sprind.org/en/projects/beventum
Environment section contact: firstname.lastname@example.org